Success for LA, as Houston are held, in CCL action
W Connection 0 Houston Dynamo 0
The Dynamo escaped a trip to Trinidad & Tobago to open their Group 1 CONCACAF Champions league campaign with a point against a well drilled home defense. As well as the travel they had to contend with the sever heat and humanity.
Connection who had opened up their group play with a 3-1 loss against Arabe Unido in Panama a fortnight ago knew another loss would almost certainly end their chances of qualifying for the Quarter Finals before it had even begun.
With only three teams in each group and with only the winners advancing to the knock out sage no team can afford to make a slow start. With that in mind it was a cagey opening to proceedings with neither team willing to take a chance in case in resulted in a mistake that allowed the other side to take advantage.
That pattern of play continued well into the second half before tiredness started to produce gaps in the visitors defense. The home sides Neil Benjamin one of the main benefactors. After 73 minutes he capitalised on Houston getting back late after they had players caught up field but his final shot could only find the side netting, then 12 minutes later he found himself clear again but this time watched in agony as his strike hit the frame of the goal and bounced to safety.
Houston’s efforts were few and far between with Cam Weaver coming the closes with two efforts in the last 5 minutes but neither found the target and the visitors must now gear up for a vital game at home to Unido on August 28.
LA Galaxy 2 Cartagines 0
The hosts put themselves in pole position in group 8 after they started their campaign victoriously.
The visitors from Costa Rica had themselves started with a win in their opening encounter with a resounding 4-2 success in El Salvador against Isidro Metapan, but they were no match here for their MLS opponents. A brace from skipper Robbie Keane, who after his hat-trick at the weekend against Real Salt Lake just can’t stop scoring.
His first strike came on 66 minutes after he latched on to a ball played over the top of the away teams defense by Landon Donovan, who had only come off the bench 5 minutes earlier, to fire a shot from a tight angle that goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro could not prevent entering the net.
The hosts nerves were finally calmed 3 minutes into stoppage time when Keane was against sent clear from a pass from Donovan before beating Alfaro to make the points safe. Their next CCL game is September 18 when they host Metapan.